More than 250 people representing SWOP’s 38 member institutions came together on December 13th to celebrate the holidays. They met in the cafeteria at Maria Catalyst School where they shared food and conversation and appreciation for all the work they had done together over the past year.
Sister Margaret from the Sisters of St. Casimir kicked off the event with a prayer and Adriana Velazquez of the SWOP staff followed with an overview of the year’s accomplishments. Natalia Robles discussed her families work with SWOP. Jeff Bartow, SWOP’s executive director, then closed out the brief program with his assessment of the state of the organization.
Everyone then headed to the food line. Attendees shared a wide array of delicious items; everything from rice and beans to chicken and pizza to cake and cookies. All the food came from SWOP leaders and member institutions who donated to the pot-luck meal.
During the meal, everyone met new friends, continued old conversations, took pictures, and drew pictures. There was even a special appearance from the Grinch who brought lots of laughs from the crowd. At the end of the night, everyone went home satisfied, both with the party and the work of SWOP over the past year.